Molded Leather Bowl
Designed and demonstrated by Kari Lee.
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Materials and Tools:
smooth shallow bowl for mold*
brown edge coat
tan antique leather stain tan
Leather Sheen leather finish
#2 edge beveller
circle edge slicker
paintbrushes (round #5)
leather-covered binder clips
2 square feet of 8-9 oz. #1 grade double-shoulder cowhide
Carolyn's floral medallion BLM 504 stencil
Dr. Ph. Martins radiant concentrated watercolors (44D sunset orange, 5A scarlet, 51D ice blue, 34C chartreuse)
* Should be wood, thick glass or plastic. Do not use metal.
1. Place the bowl facedown on the right side of the leather. Trace around the edge with the scratch awl.
2. Remove the bowl and use the knife to cut out a leather disk, following the mark that you made.
3. Use a sponge and water to lightly dampen the edge around the disk. Use the #2 edge beveller to remove the corners from the disk's edge.
4. Burnish the edge with the circle edge slicker. If necessary, remoisten the edge before slicking it.
5. Lightly moisten the center area of the leather surface. Center the stencil design over the leather, securing with clips. Use an awl to lightly trace the stencil design on the leather. Allow the leather to dry completely.
6. Attach the angled tip in the wood burner and heat it up. Brand the detail of the transferred stencil design on the leather surface using the guidelines.
8. Soak the leather in warm water until air bubbles no longer appear on the back side. Remove it from the water and set it aside to dry partially. The leather is ready to form when the color of the leather begins to lighten to a pinkish color and the core of it is still damp. At this point, place the leather in the bowl.
9. Use your fingers to repeatedly press, smooth, and form the leather into the bowl mold. Smooth out the edges.
Once you've formed your leather bowl, lift it from the mold and place it right side up on the work surface. Allow it to dry completely.
10. Put on rubber gloves. Use a wool scrap to evenly apply the antique stain in a circular motion to the interior of the bowl. Allow it to dry completely. Note: For a darker color, apply a second coat, and allow it to dry. Use the same process to apply antique stain to the exterior surface of the bowl.
11. Carefully apply brown edge coat along the top of the bowl with a foam-tip brush and allow it to dry completely.
12. Apply two light coats of an acrylic leather finish to add a tough, water-repellent finish to the leather. Allow the finish to dry completely between coats.